The Dos and Don’ts of Online Learning

The time has come! You’re getting ready to begin your first online class at Ohio State. But before jumping into online learning, it’s important that you understand the basic dos and don’ts of the online classroom.

Getting Started

DO: Prepare for your course to begin.

Just like in an on-the-ground course, you will be expected to participate and be involved in the assignments of your online course. Make sure you have the technology you need, read the course syllabus and reach out to your professor with questions.

DON’T: Expect to be anonymous in your online course.

A key piece of any online course is communication. Your instructor and fellow students expect you to be engaged and interact in the class.

DO: Prepare to commit time to the course.

There is a myth that distance education courses aren’t as time-consuming as traditional courses. Even though you can complete your work from the comfort of your home, you still need to be prepared to dedicate anywhere from four to 15 hours a week to every course you take.

DON’T: Be afraid to reach out for help.

Maybe you don’t understand a key course objective or can’t get one of your technology tools to work. That’s OK! Ohio State faculty and staff are here to help get you on the right track. Being passive won’t help you on your way to joining one of the largest alumni networks in the country.

To Email or not to Email

DO: Develop good online education habits.

Check your email once a day. If you are working on a group project or are discussing an issue with a professor, it’s important to be available on a platform everyone has access to, such as email.

DON’T: Abuse email as a means to communicate.

While you need to be assertive in expressing your needs, opinions and ideas in class discussions, don’t go overboard! Sending too many emails to your instructors or classmates can be overwhelming. Treat email like you’re having an in-person, back-and-forth conversation.

Communication in Class

DO: Be respectful and responsive.

With online communication, it’s important to understand people might misconstrue what you said, no matter how carefully you composed it. Be aware of how you use class discussion boards, whether to ask a question to the group or make a point about a learning topic.

DON’T: Procrastinate!

Procrastination may be one of the deadly sins of online learning. Make an effort to set times to talk and work with other students, set goals for your projects, and stay up to date with readings and other work. You wouldn’t want to wait for someone else, so don’t make them wait for you.

With these dos and don’ts in mind, you’ll be ready to succeed in your online courses and achieve your educational goals.